Equipment is an extremely valuable asset for businesses in the landscape industry. Not only do these tools represent a large capital investment (or monthly rental expense) for any company but they also enable crews of all sizes to accomplish a tremendous amount of work each day. Without them, it would be nearly impossible for landscaping companies to service clients and complete projects in a timely manner. That’s why it’s vital for companies to keep their equipment in peak condition. However, keeping equipment running its best is often easier said than done.
According to Greenius, up to 6% of a landscaping company’s revenue is spent repairing and replacing broken equipment. Some of that expense is inevitable; however, there are a few simple tactics you can take to reduce this number and improve your equipment’s service life. Below are the top 3 ways to extend the life of your equipment and keep your operations running efficiently:
Perform periodic maintenance
Track equipment usage
Train employees on handling equipment
1. Perform Periodic Maintenance
Establishing a standardized maintenance schedule and following through on it is crucial to improving the life of your equipment. Over time and with repeated use, tools dull and oil gets old. Performing maintenance at regular, periodic intervals combats normal wear and tear to help ensure your equipment continues running and performing efficiently. Replacing worn parts, sharpening blades, and changing oil keeps equipment running well and extends its life. When equipment is lined up in the shop waiting for major repair, it’s not only an inconvenient hassle but is also bad for business. If your crews don’t have the tools that they need to complete jobs, your relationship with your customers can suffer. Taking the time to perform regular maintenance will help keep your equipment, crews, and daily operations running smoothly.
2. Track Equipment Usage
While performing regular maintenance is important, it’s also necessary to track usage in order to know when service is due. Beyond hours of service, there are also other key details that are beneficial to track—such as who uses the equipment, how frequently it is used, and the location of its usage. With the right tools in place, such as GPS, tracking these details is greatly simplified. GPS units can be attached to anything from vehicles to trailers and even hand-held tools to reduce theft, loss, and damage as well as collecting a wide range data. The information gathered can help ensure accountability related to your equipment’s use. GPS tracking can help you identify if equipment or tools are being used outside of work hours or on the correct job sites—and, in cases where loss or damage occurs due to improper handling or recklessness, it’s easier to identify who is responsible so you can address the issue or make operational improvements.
3. Train Employees
Well-trained employees also contribute to the service life of your equipment. Proper training ensures that your crews know how to handle equipment correctly and helps prevent accidental damage or reckless use. Trained crews also operate more efficiently and are much less likely to have workplace accidents—and because education also contributes to employee satisfaction and retention, it can make a positive impact on your entire business.
Easier Said Than Done
In the landscape industry, controlling costs, especially those related to equipment, is a key factor to maintaining a profitable business. But, as many business owners know, accounting for multiple details related to each piece of equipment isn’t as simple as writing the information down on a piece of paper or logging it in a spreadsheet.
As businesses grow, tasks like this become much more complicated. When you have hundreds of pieces of equipment and tools in your inventory, it’s inevitable for some things to be missed. Fortunately, the right tools can greatly simplify—and, in some instances, even automate—tracking.
Information is powerful and enables you to make better decisions. Was the equipment overused? Was it used inefficiently? Could operations have been run better? These questions often come to mind when faced with costly equipment repairs or replacement. Fortunately, tracking equipment can provide valuable insight into these questions. In the landscape industry, where controlling costs is key to maintaining a profitable business, having that information at hand can make all the difference.
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